At that moment, Guilderland could have caved in. But the Dutchmen fought back with a big play of their own " a touchdown pass from Smith to Matthew Ward " to get within a point of LaSalle. Guilderland misfired on a two-point conversion, though, leaving LaSalle with a 20-19 lead.
It got worse for the Dutchmen when Cory Rifenberick scored on a 30-yard run and Delory Garrett added the extra point to put LaSalle ahead 27-19. Smith, though, had a big play left in his arm " a long touchdown pass to Stanish with 13.3 seconds left. Smith then found Ward in the end zone for the game-tying two-point conversion.
"We made our share of mistakes," said Penna. "We had three interceptions, we had two huge missed plays on defense and we had some miscues on special teams."
Planz opened the overtime period for LaSalle with a 20-yard touchdown run, but Delory missed the extra point. That gave Guilderland the opening it needed. Smith found Quinn in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass, and Lavelle added the extra point to send the Dutchmen into the semifinals.
"All that matters is that we believed that we could do it because it takes a lot of mental fortitude to do something like [beat LaSalle]," said Penna.
Guilderland faces another challenge in Friday's Sectional semifinal, as it travels to Ballston Spa to take on the once-defeated Scotties. The Dutchmen were in the Saratoga County town two weeks ago for an Empire Division game, and though they wound up losing to Ballston Spa 39-0, Penna saw some positives in that contest.
"We were inside their 15-yard line four times and didn't score," said Penna. "You have to credit Ballston Spa somewhat in that they made the plays they needed to, but our goal is to get the ball into the end zone this time."